My travels across the country discussing sales process and precision marketing for special finance take me to all kinds of dealerships. At the majority of the dealerships, salesperson after salesperson waits by the "point" or the window for the next "UP" to arrive. A small number of sales folks exist to whom this does not apply (like a salesman in South Florida that I met who does 30+ units a month on his own!), But all too often this is the way it is. There is a better way! You can increase your sales – the Mystery of Productivity follows.
The training I received from my first GM, Chuck Palmer (now owner of his own dealership in Georgia) and Gary Hensley (now semi-retired working for a wholesaler in the Carolinas) revealed the key to the mystery of productivity. They trained me to own and grow the business personally.
We were not permitted to take a "Lot-Up" until we made 50 calls to either past customers, their neighbors, or people on our own prospect list. This is not another version of an "I walked 3 miles in the snow, uphill, into the wind, barefoot to school" story but an illustration of what is possible if properly envisioned.
What if each sales person and manager could roll three (3) units per month from their own efforts?
It does not take much thought to see how this would benefit the salesperson, the desk and the dealership, significantly!
Gary Hensley (a 45 year automobile veteran), offers an insightful comment, "We have forgotten how to prospect in this business. Dealers continue to pay full commission for a percentage of the job." We are aware dealers are utilizing various packs etc., but Gary's point is we can "incentivise" the reps to bring in their own business to add to the monthly gross and units.
After contemplating Gary's comments I felt compelled to see what 3 sales a month per rep would impact the average dealership.
3 sales X 10 reps = 30 Sales 30 sales X $ 2,000 = $ 60,000 / month $ 60,000 X 12 = $ 720,000 / year
These results also don't account for the additional revenue that these three customers per month can add to Service & Parts as well as additional referrals from this business!
How can this be done? This is a great question! For the sake of space let's look at two steps toward building a personal marketing plan.
What are the necessary steps to build a Personal Marketing Plan?
First, you must subscribe to the fact that people buy from people they trust. To take that a step further we have to be positioned to take our relationships from Salesperson to Trusted Advisor and Resource. There are many steps needed to take a "new relationship" from Salesperson to Trusted Advisor and Resource. However if you have existing relationships with people from church, Little Leagues, Civic Organizations, school groups, etc., it is not such a big leap.
Some sales reps have naturally built-in relational markets from past experiences (sports, fraternity / sorority, schools they attended) and it would be a wasted opportunity not to tap these relationships and take full advantage of the network.
Computer savvy reps can utilize social networking sites (Linked IN, RYZE, Facebook, and Xing), to name a few. These sites can be quite useful if approached properly.
A second key step is:
Simply learning how to ask a provocative question
Who do you know who …
o Just had a baby and needs a minivan?
o Has a small expanding business that may need vehicles?
o Just had an accident and needs to replace a vehicle?
As an industry we have promoted the culture in many places that does not challenge our Sales Staff to participate in marketing themselves. If we focus some time in this area, it will prove PROFITABLE!
This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully the idea is clear – we need to reach out to our network and ask the questions! There are additional tools I'd be glad to provide you. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a complimentary copy of: Personal Marketing Plan for Sales Reps: How to PUMP up your Sales !,
Remember the mystery of productive sales is no longer a mystery! Set your successful Personal Marketing Plan in motion …. Take INITIATIVE!